Fiore's guards and attacks

Fiore dei Liberi and his treatises Fior di Battaglia/Flos Duellatorum c.1410.
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Fiore's guards and attacks

Postby admin » 31 Aug 2011 16:37

I often get asked if there is an easy reference source for Fiore's terminology, cuts, thrusts, guards etc.

This is probably the best resource online at the moment:

Link updated: http://wiktenauer.com/wiki/Fiore_delli_ ... _Two_Hands
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Re: Fiore's guards and attacks

Postby Thearos » 31 Aug 2011 23:08

Thank you.
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Re: Fiore's guards and attacks

Postby Badgers » 19 Sep 2012 12:50

That's great but it can be hard to understand the meaning of the text sometimes. Is there a modern guide using straightforward english and clear pictures? Are you writing one?
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Re: Fiore's guards and attacks

Postby admin » 26 Sep 2012 10:45

Hi Badgers, sorry I only just noticed your post after all these months!

No I'm not writing a Fiore guide at the moment and don't have an intention to any time soon. Which aspect of Fiore's longsword are you most in need of guidance on? The best thing is of course to get to a Fiore teacher.
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Re: Fiore's guards and attacks

Postby Badgers » 02 Oct 2012 14:38

Well I'm in your Ealing class on Tuesdays so can't complain about guidance! But I wanted to supplement that by reading some straightforward book to reinforce the techniques in my mind, as I'm only doing longsword once a fortnight.
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Re: Fiore's guards and attacks

Postby admin » 03 Oct 2012 11:10

Ah okay :).
There are a couple of Fiore interpretation books out there, but I'm afraid I can't review any of them because I haven't read any of them! (our work with Fiore predates those authors by at least a few years anyway :))

The 12 guards are covered pretty clearly on the wiktenauer page above.

The attacks from any of those 12 guards are:

One thrust (which can come from 5 angles - high right, high left, low right, low left, or the middle). All thrusts finish in Posta Longa or Posta Breve.

The 6 cuts:
Fendente - downwards from either side with the front edge
Mezzano - horizontal from either side, with front edge from the right, back edge from the left
Sottano - upwards from either side, with either edge

There are a couple of points of disagreement between people in the above, but there are threads about that in this part of the forum to read if you want :).
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Re: Fiore's guards and attacks

Postby Badgers » 04 Oct 2012 11:51

Thanks that's great!
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Re: Fiore's guards and attacks

Postby Francesco Perciballi » 19 May 2013 23:41

I'm italian, if you need something, just ask!

I can complete your text:

One thrust (punta), which can come from 5 angles:
From GETTY:
High right: Punta Soprana Dritta
High left: Punta Soprana Roversa
Low right: Punta Sottana Dritta
Low left: Punta Sottana Roversa
Middle: Punta di Mezzo


The 6 cuts:
Fendente - downwards from either side with the front edge
Mezzano - horizontal from either side, with front edge from the right, back edge from the left
Sottano - upwards from either side, with either edge

Cuts could be DRITTO if come from right, or ROVERSO if come from left.


Only one question, where do you read about this phrase?
"All thrusts finish in Posta Longa or Posta Breve"


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Re: Fiore's guards and attacks

Postby admin » 20 May 2013 10:27

It is a point of contention between different Fiore students.

For my part I assume this based on the available evidence - in the techniques and in the images, all thrusts end in Posta Longa or Breve. Even with the spear. There is, perhaps sadly, no evidence in Fiore for a thrust with the hands raised, like in the German Ochs, except when halfswording with the left hand gripping the blade. Instead, Fiore repeatedly tells you to keep the hands low when thrusting in a bind (in the cambio di punta play for example).

So currently I cannot say for certain that Fiore never thrust with the hands high, but there is absolutely no evidence that he did, in contrast to most other longsword treatises of the time, which feature this move a lot.
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Re: Fiore's guards and attacks

Postby Francesco Perciballi » 20 May 2013 10:44

The "high" thrusts are with high hands. For example starting from "Posta di Finestra Destra (Posta Reale di Vera Finestra)":

Image

Or, little bit complicated to explain in words, from "Posta di Bicorno":

Image


With spear, for example, from "Posta di Finestra Destra (Posta Reale di Vera Finestra)":

Image



Here you can find (bottom image) the principle explained well:
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8514426f/f18.item


Hope I've been useful!
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Re: Fiore's guards and attacks

Postby admin » 20 May 2013 13:35

Hi Francesco - you misunderstood me. They *start* with high hands, but are always shown finishing with low hands, in either Breve or Longa. There is no example in any of Fiore's treatises of a thrust actually finishing in Fenestra, except in the one-handed section.

In contrast, the German treatises are full of high-handed thrusts finishing in Ochs.
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Re: Fiore's guards and attacks

Postby Francesco Perciballi » 20 May 2013 13:42

Sorry for misunderstanding!

There are no historical evidences about to finish a Fiore-thrust with high guards, like german Ochs but, for example, dynamics don't prevent you to start in Vera Finestra, thrust with high right, and finish in Finestra Manca.

Hope I've been clear, is very hard "to speak" about fencing!
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Re: Fiore's guards and attacks

Postby admin » 20 May 2013 14:34

I completely agree - they are perfectly possible and they work. In fact I used to teach the high-handed thrusts when teaching Fiore longsword.

However, a few years ago I made a decision to only teach the system as it is clearly and definitely shown in Fiore's treatise. Therefore I cannot teach high-handed thrusts when they seem to be so ignored in Fiore's texts, especially when that runs in clear contradiction to so many German treatises, which show those thrusts so frequently. More than this, I believe that Fiore had very good reasons not to use those thrusts or show them.
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Re: Fiore's guards and attacks

Postby Francesco Perciballi » 20 May 2013 14:51

If your study is based to only-historical way, I agree with you. You present a complete experimental-archeologic study, and you have to base your study only on what you have, in evidences.

If the study is on martial art-way, unfortunately we can't consider Fiore (and mostly others, germans too) manuscripts like manuals. They are not. From my studies, the first manuscript that could be considered a complete manual, is the "Marozzo". And middle-ages are finished!

Like everything, interpretations depend from points of view. When I'm in public, in historical clothes and I'm showing historical techics from manuscripts, I do the same of you, only techincs written on manuscripts. Cause the scientific method says this is the right way to not be wrong.

...but, in my class, when I teach in a complete-way, I have to consider manuscripts like "examples", "principles", and not manuals (unfortunately), cause they are not. So, probably Fiore wrote (and used!) about high thrusts from high guards, but for some reasons we have not the evidences (lost, or ignored for some reasons).

In conclusion, about high guards after high thrusts, the principles of that tecnichs are showed on Flos, and is possible do them from a dynamic anatomic research. So, we could do it (in the class!)!

PS: My point of view opens so many interesting questions about arguments very important, like: why Fiore didn't wrote about "german" technics? My last research (in progess) is about this!
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Re: Fiore's guards and attacks

Postby Michael Chidester » 20 May 2013 15:11

admin wrote:More than this, I believe that Fiore had very good reasons not to use those thrusts or show them.

I've also come to agree with this after looking at Fiore for a while.
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Re: Fiore's guards and attacks

Postby admin » 20 May 2013 16:41

Francesco Perciballi wrote:In conclusion, about high guards after high thrusts, the principles of that tecnichs are showed on Flos, and is possible do them from a dynamic anatomic research. So, we could do it (in the class!)!


We will have to agree to disagree :)
As I said, I used to teach these Ochs-like thrusts, but they do not really fit into Fiore's system as I see it now. On the contrary, Fiore seems very concerned about keeping his hands low when possible and doing other things rather than 'winden' in Ochs-like positions. I do not see this high winding position as fitting into the sort of structure Fiore promoted in his treatises. It is also worth noting that this high winding is not really very common in any Italian longsword texts - not Vadi or Marozzo... Whereas, as I stated, it is incredibly common in Germanic treatises.
I do not think all longsword systems were, or should be thought of, as the same or even similar. We see drastic differences between rapier systems, or sabre systems, or smallsword systems... There is no reason to expect similarity between longsword systems. :)
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Re: Fiore's guards and attacks

Postby Francesco Perciballi » 20 May 2013 16:49

I think we agree in most of the arguments, probably my exposition is not clear. The main problem is we are not "live"!
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Re: Fiore's guards and attacks

Postby TP » 07 Dec 2015 17:03

Just so you know: The Link in the OP no longer works. Is there another link to guards and attacks for Fiore? The conversation on this thread was very helpful.
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Re: Fiore's guards and attacks

Postby Michael Chidester » 07 Dec 2015 21:37

Some redundant redirects like that one have been pruned at different times to reduce clutter in the index. Try this:

http://wiktenauer.com/wiki/Fiore_de'i_Liberi
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